‘Our ships will burn ...’

Van Dyk prom­ises Sharks won’t re­treat, won’t sur­ren­der against Lions

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MIKE GREEN­AWAY

IF the way the Sharks have been run­ning at train­ing this week is any­thing to go by, ex­pect Cur­win Bosch to be named at fly­half for Satur­day’s Su­per Rugby quar­ter-fi­nal match against the Lions at El­lis Park.

Bosch, one of the star per­form­ers for the Sharks this sea­son has mainly played full­back but last week, against this same Lions side, he was left on the bench with Lwazi Mvovo re­turn­ing from in­jury at full­back and Garth April keep­ing his place at 10.

April was subbed 45 min­utes into the game against the Lions last week at Kings Park and Bosch could be poised to re­turn at 10.

He is a proven match-win­ner and the Sharks have to pro­duce some­thing dif­fer­ent at El­l­lis Park on Satur­day if they are to up­set a Lions team that has won 13 Su­per Rugby games in a row at their fortress.

Other­wise, the Sharks are likely to keep the same line-up that lost 27-10 to the Lions last week in Dur­ban.

Kobus van Wyk, pic­tured, the Sharks’ sole try scorer against the Lions last week, reck­ons this quar­ter-fi­nal will be a dif­fer­ent ball game al­to­gether.

“We have played the Lions twice this sea­son, the first time we de­served to win in Jo­han­nes­burg, last week we de­served to lose in Dur­ban, so maybe it will be third time lucky,” the former Storm­ers man said with a grin.

“We are the un­der­dogs but you never know what can hap­pen in a knock-out game. The pres­sure might get to them, who knows, but there is no pres­sure on us other than to go there and give our all,” the 25-year-old said.

Van Wyk was a star wing in Cape Town, scor­ing a to­tal of 19 tries in 45 games for WP and the Storm­ers, but the Paarl Gim­na­sium prod­uct was al­lowed to leave New­lands and had a sea­son with Bordeaux in France be­fore the Sharks en­ticed him back to South Africa.

“Is there a gen­uine belief that we can win? Of course there is,” Van Wyk said. “We were down over the week­end but the heads were up on Mon­day and like the Vik­ings we must go and burn our ships when we in­vade the Lions.”

Van Wyk is talk­ing about an an­cient pol­icy of the Norse­men where they de­clared their in­tent on ar­rival at a new des­ti­na­tion by burn­ing their ships to give them no op­por­tu­nity of re­treat. For­ward or bust, is pretty much what it was. “To beat the Lions we have to hit the ground run­ning, get hold of the ball, and keep it. That is how we have won when play­ing against the top teams in the com­pe­ti­tion this year. It is all about how we start, and then con­trol pos­ses­sion,” Van Wyk said.

“Yes, we have been in­con­sis­tent over this cam­paign but we do have prece­dents that we can draw on. We have had some re­ally good per­for­mances and wins, so we know we can do it.”

Last week the do-or-die at­ti­tude was not there, this week will be dif­fer­ent the winger says.

“It was a dif­fi­cult game last week, psy­cho­log­i­cally, but this week we will be on fire,” promised Van Wyk. “We are go­ing to burn our ships! The first quar­ter is go­ing to huge, we have to im­pose our­selves.

“Our set phases have to be spot on so we do not let their half-backs dic­tate play. Our for­wards have to put them un­der pres­sure. We can’t let them get early mo­men­tum.”

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